Coping with Grief

Coping with Grief

Grief is described as deep sorrow, especially that is caused by someone’s death. However, grief looks different for everyone and there are many types of loss that can be associated with grieving.

Here are some examples:

  • Obvious Loss: Death, theft, failure, injury
  • Loss Due to Change: divorce, moving, change of school/teacher
  • Unnoticed Loss: Graduation, marriage, the birth of a child

Speaking to kids about loss is a difficult subject, but it is important that parents take the time to speak about the loss of something or someone. For more information on this, visit Kids Grief.ca. It is a great resource on how to speak to children about death.

The 4 C’s of Grief

  1. Did I Cause it?
  2. Can I Catch it?
  3. Could I have Cured it?
  4. Who is going to take Care of me?

Check out Living my culture.ca to see how First Nations, Inuit, Metis, and peoples from other cultures share their stories & wisdom about the end of life, grief, and how to support others.

For young children:

Although one may question whether or not their child is ready to talk about grief, it is important to have healthy discussions and get a sense of what the child is thinking.

Talking about grief with anybody is challenging, but especially when they are young and may not fully understand what is happening.

One way for young children to express grief is through art. It may be challenging for young children to express their feelings but allowing them the creativity of art can be helpful in processing what they are thinking.
 

Here is an activity that you and your child can complete after the loss of a person or even a major change, such as the pandemic we are currently in.

For parents

How to prepare a memorial/ceremony at home.

How to prepare a memorial/ceremony at home.

An example for graduation:

  1. Play an opening song
  2. Read a poem or listen to someone reading it online
  3. Do an activity you and your family selected
  4. Play a song
  5. Share memories, feelings, and reflections
  6. Write in a gratitude journal or share words of thanks
  7. Place an object or memento, like a letter to the person who you are honouring.
  8. Play a closing song

Staying connected

When you have a loss the relationship does not need to end. Children who were close to their friends and/or family whom they can not visit can still maintain a relationship. Parents play an important role in keeping the relationship alive.

Try:

  • Telling stories about them. These can be kept for future generations to keep history and connection alive.
  • Decorate a memory box for photos, letters, and other mementos.
  • Sew a pillowcase, quilt, or blanket from their clothing.

Youth who experience grief can begin to show concern about their future and the future of others who are close to them. It is important to learn healthy ways of coping with grief that can be practiced during a loss.

Some ways to support youth in grieving:

  • Acknowledge the loss and feelings they may have surrounding the changes they are experiencing
  • Talk about hopes for the future

Here are some activities that can guide you in supporting youth experiencing grief. 

Drawing Prompts

Writing/Journaling Prompts

Journal prompts for grieving can allow people to focus on questions and answers that help guide them in healing and recognize support.


Memory Bracelets

Sometimes, it can be difficult to verbalize thoughts and feelings. Creating something can allow you to freely and comfortably express yourself. Memory bracelets are something that can be carried with you to symbolize positive memories, love, and hope.


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